Obama supports Native Hawaiian recognition
The Obama administration supports S.1011, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, a Department of Justice official said on Thursday.

The bill extends the policy of self-determination to Native Hawaiians. President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii, said he supported the bill during his campaign.

"The Department of Justice strongly supports the core policy goals of this bill," Sam Hirsch, a deputy associate attorney general, told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee at a hearing yesterday.

The testimony listed several U.S. Supreme Court cases that said Congress has the power to recognize tribal groups and to define the federal government's relationship with tribes and Alaska Natives. Hirsch said the same reasoning applies to Native Hawaiians.

The Clinton administration supported Native Hawaiian recognition but the Bush administration did not.

Get the Story:
Obama backs Native Hawaiian self-governance bill (The Honolulu Advertiser 8/7)
New government for Native Hawaiians gains support (AP 8/6)

Committee Notice:
HEARING on S. 1011, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (August 6, 2009)

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